In The Dream House

Review: In The Dream House

Author: Carmen Maria Machado

Stars: 5/5

 

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I must preface this by saying, that this was one of the hardest books I have had to read. Not because of the writing, the writing was beautiful. But because the story that Machado shared is a story that I know all too well. Reading this book made me examine some of the things I experienced. And none of what I say below will do this book the justice it deserves.

“Love cannot be won or lost; a relationship doesn’t have a scoring system. We are partners, paired against the world. We cannot succeed if we are at odds with each other.”

I came from a household where I saw abuse, so naturally I stayed in a relationship that was abusive. At the time, I did not know better, my idea of “love” was to stay. I held myself responsible for the rage this person held, and blamed myself for the emotional and physical abuse I endured. As I was reading In The Dream House, Machado expressed thoughts and feelings that I too felt in those dark months.

Reading this was certainly an interactive experience for me. And I say that because there were moments that I connected with the words on the pages as if I was Machado, as if I was in The Dream House. I know our stories are different, but the experiences hold the same essence. I was afraid to share my experience because queer abuse has been viewed as impossible. I would have chosen to make excuses for her rather than to hold her accountable.

That’s what you want. You want an explanation that clears her of responsibility, that permits your relationship to continue unabated. You want to be able to explain to others what she’s done without seeing horror on their faces.”

Much like Machado, I wish that I would have said something sooner. But fear sometimes has a hold on you cannot get past. It wasn’t until I realized that if I had stayed, I would have become the monster in The Dream House.

This memoir was haunting yet beautiful, brilliant and breathtaking in all the ways it was meant to. This isn’t a review more so a synopsis of my experience while reading this masterpiece. I cried, I was rigid with the fear that I felt in the past but also the fear that Machado wrote about so eloquently.

 

Until next time, Until the next book.

xX, Jimalion

Genuine Fraud

Review: Genuine Fraud

Author: E. Lockhart

Stars: 5/5

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“For anyone who has been taught that good equals small and silent, here is my heart with all its ugly tangles and splendid fury.”

We start with a girl on the run. And that is where I got hooked. I needed to know who she was, who she was running from, and why was she running. And honeyyyy let me tell you, I found out and my edges were shooketh!!!! E. Lockhart has such a way of blowing your mind. This story was told backwards and I really enjoyed that aspect, I think it gave the story more character than if it were told in chronological order. This was a whirlwind in all the right ways.

 

Until next time, Until the next book.

xX, Jimalion

One Day In December

Review: One Day In December

Author: Josie Silver

Stars: 4/5

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“You tread lightly through life, but you leave deep footprints that are hard for other people to fill.”

Guyssss! I do not know when I became the person that just fell apart while reading romance novels. But here we are and I’m just going to ride this wave. I kept seeing this book floating around the gram and then it was the book club choice I’m apart of. And at first I was like nah…I’m not going to get my emotions invested in this because we all know how the story is going to end. But LISTEN! I got invested and I can NOT undo it. If you need to find me, I will be over here in my feelings.

A little back story: Girl meets guy. They go they separate ways. Girl spends over a year looking for said guy. Best friend of girl meets a guy, introduces girl to now boyfriend who turns out to be the guy girl met a year ago. Guy and girl then spend years denying the attraction and it’s a roller-coaster! I loved it so much!

“There comes a point where you have to make the choice to be happy, because being sad for too long is exhausting.”

 

Until next time, Until the next book.

 

xX, Jimalion

Between The World and Me

Review: Between The World and Me

Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Stars: 4/5

 

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“I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.”

I wish that I had the words to do this justice. There was so much to unpack in such a short time. This was my first Ta-Nehisi Coates book and wow! I am speechless and that does not happen often. Every line of the book dripped with wisdom. This book was brilliantly, and beautifully written and it will be one of those books that stays with me forever. I am not a black boy being raised in America, so I know that this book was written for me. But I may become a mother of a black boy in America and for that I needed it. 

“America understands itself as God’s handiwork, but the black body is the clearest evidence that America is the work of men.”

 

Until next time, Until the next book.

 

xX, Jimalion

 

Always and Forever Lara Jean

Review: Always and Forever Lara Jean

Author: Jenny Han

Stars: 5/5

 

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“Never say no when you really want to say yes.”


There are so many things that I want to say, and honestly none of it will probably make sense. When I first started this series, I had no idea how much I would actually love it. I feel apart of the story, like I am invested in Lara Jean and the gang. I have found some sort of comfort within this story line, and I cannot put my finger on just what it is. And that would typically annoy me, but for some reason, that is enough for me.

I do know that there is a part of me that is drawn to the family dynamic within the books because I did not have a father that was “present” like Dan is. So having it exist in this fictional world has been enough to ease the sting as I have done major life things while reading the series. Getting engaged, graduating college, and soon getting married. I never knew what it would mean to long for something you never had because how can you know what you’re missing if it was never yours to miss?

Another reason why I absolutely adored this third book is because it gave me a sense of home. Chapel Hill was my stomping ground, I found the best and worst of myself on Franklin Street. I did not go to college at UNC, but that’s the thing about Chapel Hill. You do not have to be a student to feel apart of the greater picture not only the school holds, but the town of Chapel Hill itself holds. No matter how long I am away, when I find my way back it feels so nostalgic, as if pieces of me are finding their way back as if a little bit of my essence whispers in the wind “Welcome back….you’ve been gone too long.”

“I’m a Tar Hell born, I’m a Tar Heel bred. And when I die, I’m a Tar Heel dead.”

 

Until next time, Until the next book.

xX, Jimalion

Two Can Keep A Secret

Review: Two Can Keep A Secret

Author: Karen McManus

Stars: 5/5

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Y’all listen!!!! This book was soooo good! I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. After I got into the story, I was invested in finding out how this was going to end and let me tell you the ending took all of my edges, snatched them and threw them right back at me. I love the endings that I never see coming and out of nowhere you have answers to questions you didn’t even know to ask. Karen has such an amazing way to tell a story with so many details that aren’t too overwhelming. This gave me Pretty Little Liars feels and I’m all here for it.

So what is this book about? It takes place is a small town called Echo Ridge that sits near the Canadian border. Our main character Ellery is obsessed with true crime because 20+ years ago her aunt Sarah went missing and no one ever talks about it. And five years ago a homecoming queen is found dead, drawing unwanted attention to this picture perfect town. But just as pictures up close have small flaws, the town of Echo Ridge and the ones who reside there, there are secrets below the surface. So when Ellery and her twin brother Ezra have to move from California to Echo Ridge, Ellery finds herself not only trying to figure out pieces of her moms past but trying to solve the mystery behind the disappearance of yet again another potential homecoming queen. And as Ellery and her friends try to put the pieces of this puzzle together, they found out that there are some secrets you can share as well as ones you are better off keeping to yourself.

“There’s something deeply satisfying about confronting a monster and escaping unscathed. Real monsters aren’t anything like that. They don’t let go.”

Until next time, until the next book.

xX, Jimalion

Becoming

Review: Becoming

Author: Michelle Obama

Stars: 5/5

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“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

I have literally sobbed so many times reading this. (Y’all already know how emotional I am.) I loved Michelle and Barack before, but through reading Becoming, I have found a new love for the both of them.

I absolutely adore a book that allows me to feel all the emotions. I laughed, I cried, and laughed some more as Michelle told her story. It made me miss the time that we were blessed to have Barack as President and she First Lady.

As I try to wrap my thoughts up in this post, I must realize that there are no literal words worthy enough. Even though she was a very important woman (still is), she was/is so relatable. Her and Barack’s love story was probably my favorite part of the book.

There are many nuggets of wisdom Michelle dropped throughout Becoming. But one that stayed with me and will stay with me forever is one that reminds me that there is always another way, another way to do something, another way to be something….  “There are simply other ways of being.”

Until next time, until the next book.

xX, Jimalion

We Were Liars

Review: We Were Liars

Author: E. Lockhart

Stars: 5/5

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“Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest.”

I finished this and have been staring into complete nothingness because I can’t believe what I just read, in one of the best ways possible. The tragedy in this book rocked my world, and I don’t feel as if I’m on stable ground just yet.

We Were Liars is a story of a group of teenagers who share a bond that only they would ever be able to understand. Raised in a family with money, and surrounded by adults who focus more on their social stature, these teenagers seek to be free from it all. In the world that they have created with each other, love out weighs all of the status that is their family, and in the end this leads to a shocking moment that changes the course of everything. “What if we could somehow stop being the Beautiful Sinclair Family and just be family? What if we could stop being different colors, different backgrounds, and just be in love?”

Lockhart did such a great job with making you feel as though in just the first few pages that you had read much more than you have. There was mystery that made you brace yourself for the blow of the truth that you know is coming. It was tragic, yet haunting, but beautiful in all its ways. –

There is one line from the book that stayed with me: “The universe is seeming really huge right now,” he told me. “I need something to hold on to.” And guys….that is how this book left me…

Until next time, Until the next book.

xX Jimalion

The Wedding Party

Review: The Wedding Party

Author: Jasmine Guillory

Rating: 4/5 Stars

 

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As someone who never read romance novels until being active on Bookstagram, I am beginning to learn that I love a good cat and mouse love chase. I like you, you like me, but we are going to deny it because that just sounds like the right thing to do, but we can’t ignore it and we fall in love. I think for me until my current relationship, Love was always this thing that left a negative taste in my mouth, so seeing love portrayed in a different light through characters that look like me is refreshing.

I especially loved Theo and Maddie’s relationship in this book. Also I love the fact that the books in this series all seem to be centered around food because if you know me, you know my love for food is at level expert. I feel like my thoughts are all over the place. But I also like how the women portrayed in this series are boss ass babes. They are relevant and have such a strong presence in their fields. Cannot wait to read the next book!

 

Until next time, until the next book.

xX, Jimalion

There There

Review: There There

Author: Tommy Orange

Stars: 4/5

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“We’ve been defined by everyone else and continue to be slandered despite easy-to-look-up-on-the-internet facts about the realities of our histories and current state as a people.”

“There, There” brings to us characters that I cannot recall reading a lot of which are Native Americans Indians. For that reason alone, I fell in love with this book. I tend to get lost when there is a large cast of characters. But what I like most about this book, is that each character has different stories and backgrounds but despite all of those differences they are all connected.

Tommy Orange did a fantastic job with showing us how one small action can change the course or affect someone else’s life. This was the first time I have been able to read about the villain of a story and see past the villain in them and see them as just a human. We read bout family, loss, hope, and identity as it pertains to the Native American community.

This was such a beautiful novel entangled with the history of the indigenous community with and incredible cast of characters and an ending that will leave you speechless.

“To not have been destroyed, to not have given up, to have survived, is no badge of honor.”

 

Until next time, Until the next book.

xX jimalion